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  • Opus Dei - Send to a friend - Christians in the middle of the world
    العربي لبنان עברית ישראל русский Казахстан Русский Россия Українська Україна 中文 繁體 日本語 日本 简体中文 中国 Press room Contact facebook tweet youtube flickr rss Opus Dei I dream and the dream has come true of multitudes of God s children sanctifying themselves as ordinary citizens sharing the ambitions and endeavours of their colleagues and friends Saint Josemaría Home Contact Search home About Opus Dei Message Activities Opus Dei in the U S Organization History People in Opus Dei Priestly Society of the Holy Cross Cooperators Canonization causes Books and texts Videos about Opus Dei Safe Environment The Prelate Biography Pastoral letters Other documents News From the Pope Recent News From the Prelate Personal testimonies Social initiatives Saint Josemaría Biography Prayers and devotions Teachings of Saint Josemaría About Saint Josemaría Videos Christian life Getting to know our Lord Jesus Christ Summaries of Catholic Teaching Articles on Christian life Getting to know our Lady Other Resources Search About Opus Dei Message Activities Opus Dei in the U S Organization History People in Opus Dei Priestly Society of the Holy Cross Cooperators Canonization causes Books and texts Videos about Opus Dei Safe Environment The Prelate Biography Pastoral letters Other documents News From the Pope Recent News From the Prelate Personal testimonies Social initiatives Saint Josemaría Biography Prayers and devotions Teachings of Saint Josemaría About Saint Josemaría Videos Christian life Getting to know our Lord Jesus Christ Summaries of Catholic Teaching Articles on Christian life Getting to know our Lady Other Resources Search Close Send to a friend Christians in the middle of the world http opusdei us en us article members YOUR DATA This helps us prevent automatic programs form sending unwanted e mails Privacy policy and cookies links The Holy See Writings of the founder of Opus Dei Saint Josemaría website Blessed

    Original URL path: http://www.opusdei.org/en-us/send_to_friend/Article/members/ (2016-02-15)
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  • The Vocation to Opus Dei - Opus Dei
    farewell to those at home Jesus said to him No one having put his hand to the plow and looking back is fit for the Kingdom of God Lk 9 59 62 The seeming harshness of Christ s refusal to assent to these two requests may respond to the particular needs of these individuals which the Gospel text does not reveal Perhaps Christ who knew the hearts of men opposed their requests because he knew that for them the slightest delay in accepting his call would be decisive In any case God s call focuses the entire life of the person he calls and must not be subordinated to anything else CHAPTER 2 THE SPIRIT OF OPUS DEI In establishing Opus Dei as a personal prelature the Holy Father described it as an institution endowed with a unity of spirit Apostolic Constitution Ut Sit Introduction This chapter will describe the principal features of the spirit of Opus Dei Children of God The spirit of Opus Dei is based on a vivid awareness of being children of God who is our loving Father Cf Jn 1 12 1 Jn 3 1 This joyful reality fosters cheerful simple confidence in the dealings of Opus Dei members both with God and with other people who are also children of God It leads to a desire to live in the presence of God and to maintain a loving dialogue with him throughout the day Awareness of being a child of God gives peace confidence and happiness along with a desire to improve one s life in order to serve our Father God better and more faithfully As God s sons and daughters Opus Dei members come to know and value more deeply the gift of freedom he has given them The spirit of Opus Dei inculcates in its members a great esteem for this inexhaustible treasure that belongs to Christianity The glorious freedom of the children of God Josemaría Escrivá Friends of God n 27 quoting Rom 8 21 In a homily in 1956 the founder of Opus Dei said I like to speak of the adventure of freedom because that is how your lives and mine unfold I insist that it is freely as children and not as slaves that we follow the paths which Our Lord has marked out for each one of us We relish our freedom of action as a gift from God I opt for God because I want to freely without compulsion of any kind Friends of God n 35 Holiness in Ordinary Life A characteristic feature of the spirit of Opus Dei is its emphasis on the call to holiness in daily life In the aims and spirit of Opus Dei stress is laid on the sanctifying value of ordinary work that is to say on the obligation to sanctify work to sanctify oneself in one s work and to turn it into an instrument of apostolate Declaration of the Congregation for Bishops August 23 1982 II c Christ s life as a craftsman in a small village inspires the lives of members of Opus Dei For thirty years Christ lived a life which did not call attention to itself He loved God above all things and dedicated all of his energies to doing the will of his Father at each moment Yet he did nothing that singled him out from his contemporaries He dressed like other people He spoke like them He shared their interests and concerns To the casual observer he seemed to be simply one more village artisan Nothing in his behavior during the first thirty years of his life prepared his relatives neighbors and friends for his preaching and miracles In fact when he did so they asked themselves in amazement Is not this Jesus the son of Joseph whose father and mother we know How then does he say that I have come down from heaven Jn 6 42 The life of Christ in Nazareth which could be called his private life is the model that members of Opus Dei try to imitate They try to give witness by their lives that ordinary life in the world can lead us to God Anyone acquainted with a member of Opus Dei will recognize that he or she takes the faith seriously and tries to put it into practice A friend or colleague of a member will know of his or her vocation Members of Opus Dei have no objection to anyone s knowing that they belong to Opus Dei But since they are called to imitate Christ s life in Nazareth and to live a normal ordinary life in the midst of the world they prefer not to announce publicly their personal commitment to God The vocation of members of Opus Dei is quiet and unobtrusive like Christ s hidden life It shows up in a father s taking greater interest in the education of his children in a nurse s stopping to listen to an elderly patient in a college student s willingness to help a classmate understand a difficult math problem and in a person s effort to help a neighbor solve a family problem in a Christian manner These of course are things that all good Christians try to do And that is just the point members of Opus Dei try to sanctify themselves and others by doing as well as they can out of love for God and others the things that God asks all Christians living in the midst of the world to do Sanctification of Work The Lord created man to work Gen 2 15 The law of work belongs then to the general human condition Nonetheless the particular character and aim of Opus Dei leads its faithful not only to work but to love deeply their ordinary work They see in work an outstanding human value and an essential means for the dignity of the human person and social progress Above all they consider it a marvelous opportunity and means for personal union with Christ imitating his hidden life that was full of work and of generous service to others Through their ordinary work the members of Opus Dei cooperate in God s loving work of creation and redemption of the world Statutes of the Prelature of Opus Dei n 86 par 1 The effort to sanctify work requires working as well as possible because we cannot offer to God shoddy defective work So for instance doctors motivated by this spirit attempt to develop their technical skills to keep up to date with the most recent developments in their field and to give each of their patients the attention and the time they require while house painters who belong to Opus Dei try to learn the best techniques to do their work neatly and carefully and to give an honest day s work for their pay The faithful of the Prelature of Opus Dei try to work well not merely in order to get ahead or from a sense of professionalism but primarily because they see their work as part of God s plan for them something God wants them to do as well as possible out of love for him and for those whom their work affects They work well in order to fulfill God s will and to express their love for others For a Christian and concretely for a member of Opus Dei working well means among other things not working selfishly A Christian sees the just rewards of work including the income it produces as something to be administered prudently according to God s purposes Members of Opus Dei live sober and austere personal lives Like responsible stewards they use their earnings not to satisfy their own whims but to support their families to help apostolic works and to carry their share of society s burdens The formation given to Opus Dei members helps them to form their consciences in accord with Catholic social teaching Opus Dei urges its members and those who participate in its activities to be acutely aware of the demands of justice and to be magnanimous and generous in attempting to improve the situation of the less fortunate members of society One result of this is the existence throughout the world of numerous social centers founded and run by Opus Dei members Even more important however are the efforts of individual members to implement the Church s social teaching in their work and other activities Work offers concrete daily opportunities to practice many virtues including concern for others order punctuality justice and humility Above all work manifests charity through service St Josemaría wrote I undertake to serve to convert my whole life into a means of serving others out of love for my Lord Jesus Josemaría Escrivá Christ is Passing By n 27 This spirit leads members of Opus Dei to try to do their work in such a way that it constitutes a real service to others The lives of two members whose processes of beatification have already begun Isidoro Zorzano a civil engineer who worked for a railroad and Montserrat Grases a student who died of cancer at the age of 17 manifest charity through service The holiness of their lives consisted not in extraordinary deeds but in practicing the virtues in everyday circumstances Isidoro s colleagues for example remember him for his cheerfulness and for his willingness to go beyond the limits of his duties to help them get done whatever was needed at a given moment Montserrat underwent months of painful illness seeking sanctity through the offering of her suffering her prayer her joy and using that time to bring her friends and classmates closer to God Work and Prayer Work itself and the social contacts it involves can become an occasion for raising one s heart to God and conversing with him People whose lives are inspired by the spirit of Opus Dei try therefore to take advantage of the natural breaks in their work to offer it to God to ask his help or simply to tell him that they love him To the extent that people succeed in incorporating the spirit of Opus Dei into the fabric of their lives they find that work and the other aspects of daily life bring them closer to God and help them to carry on a loving conversation with God during the day They become in the words of Opus Dei s founder contemplatives in the midst of the world that is people who live in loving conversation with God precisely through work that is externally no different from the work of millions of other people It would be impossible to turn daily work and other daily activities into an occasion of conversation with God without dedicating some time exclusively to him A Catholic needs the sacraments and a certain amount of time set aside each day expressly for prayer in order to live in the presence of God and in loving dialogue with him Opus Dei therefore stresses the importance of daily Mass of reading the Gospel and of personal prayer These periods of time dedicated exclusively to personal contact with God never isolated moments nor religious interludes in an otherwise mundane existence enable a person to convert work recreation and all of life into ways of loving God into a friendship which seeks to share everything The prayer life of members of Opus Dei is centered on Jesus Christ and concretely on the Mass In the words of St Josemaría Escrivá the Mass forms the center and root of the interior life of the members of Opus Dei In the Mass work and other daily activities take on their full meaning as part of the sacrifice which Jesus Christ offers to God the Father The sacrament of Penance also plays a central role in the spiritual life of Opus Dei members as an opportunity to put on the Lord Jesus Christ Gal 3 27 Children of Mary Besides cultivating a strong sense of being children of God and a lively personal contact with Jesus Christ in scripture and in the sacraments members of Opus Dei practice devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary St Josemaría encouraged his spiritual sons and daughters to go to her with a son s love and joy Christ is Passing By n 142 In a book written a few years after the foundation of Opus Dei he said The beginning of the way at the end of which you will find yourself completely carried away by love for Jesus is a trusting love for Mary Josemaría Escrivá The Holy Rosary p 8 Devotion to Mary and awareness of the fact that all men and women are children of God leads to a spirit of service a desire to help others In a homily on the Blessed Virgin the founder of Opus Dei said If we have this filial contact with Mary we won t be able to think just about ourselves and our problems Selfish personal problems will find no place in our mind Mary brings us to Jesus and Jesus is the firstborn among many brothers Rom 8 29 And so if we know Jesus we realize that we can live only by giving ourselves to the service of others Concern for one s own spiritual improvement is not really a personal thing for sanctification is completely bound up with apostolate Christ is Passing By n 145 Devotion to St Josemaría Escrivá Pope John Paul II has described St Josemaría Escrivá as occupying an eminent place among the men and women faithful to Christ who throughout the centuries have illuminated different epochs of history with their lives and with their message L Osservatore Romano Eng Ed n 43 1313 Oct 27 1993 In the audience he granted to members and friends of Opus Dei the day after the beatification of its founder John Paul II expressed his hope that they would be illuminated by the example and teaching of Blessed Josemaría Escrivá whom the Pope described as a model of sanctity and as an eminent testimony of Christian heroism in the exercise of everyday human activities L Osservatore Romana May 17 18 1992 p 6 As the Pope urged them to do members of Opus Dei find in the writings of St Josemaría the spirit which they attempt to put into practice Even more important his life constitutes a concrete example of how that spirit can be lived on a day to day basis In addition like millions of other people members of Opus Dei have learned by experience that St Josemaría is a powerful intercessor before God and they turn to him for help in their spiritual life and apostolate and in other daily needs For all of these reasons the members of Opus Dei try to become familiar with the life and writings of their founder And they encourage other people to seek his intercession Spirit of Sacrifice Even on the purely natural plane self discipline and self sacrifice are necessary Athletes subject themselves to rigorous training People diet in order to improve their health or simply their appearance Men and women in all walks of life put in long hours to get ahead in their professions or to achieve some other personal goal Similarly St Paul insisted to the early Christians at Corinth that following Christ closely requires personal sacrifice Every athlete must keep all his appetites under control and he does it to win a crown that fades whereas ours is imperishable I buffet my own body and make it my slave or I who have preached to others might be rejected as worthless 1 Cor 9 25 27 Mortification helps Christians to grow in virtue control their appetites fulfill the duties of their state in life and live charity toward others But Christians embrace sacrifice above all to imitate Christ and to share in his life Jesus invites everyone who wants to follow him to renounce himself and take up his cross each day Cf Lk 9 23 He warns that he that does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me Mt 10 39 The goal of members of Opus Dei is to share Christ s life to the point of being able to say with St Paul I live now not I but Christ lives in me Gal 2 20 But for this to become a reality a Christian must also be able to say With Christ I hang upon the cross Gal 2 19 In addition to uniting us personally with Christ sacrifice helps to bring others closer to him When the apostles asked Jesus why they had been unable to cast out a devil he told them There is no way of casting out such spirits as this except by prayer and fasting Mt 17 20 St Paul told the early faithful at Colossae I am glad of my sufferings on your behalf as in this mortal frame of mine I help to pay off the debt which the afflictions of Christ leaves still to be paid for the sake of his body the Church Col 1 24 In the spirit of Opus Dei sacrifice finds expression primarily in the effort required to fulfill as perfectly as possible each one s professional family and social duties Work and the other aspects of daily life offer numerous opportunities for living an authentic spirit of self denial and sacrifice manifested in constancy order punctuality and cheerful acceptance of the setbacks and difficulties of life Members of Opus Dei also attempt to respond generously to Christ s invitation to take up the Cross by traditional Christian practices of self denial including in some cases use of the disciplines and the cilice These practices of Christian asceticism are no more harmful to health than are athletic training or the diets followed by many to improve their health or appearance They are a way of sharing voluntarily in a small way in the suffering of Jesus Christ as many saints and holy people down through the centuries have done including St Dominic St Francis of Assisi St Ignatius Loyola St Thomas More St Francis de Sales Cardinal Newman and in our own time Mother Teresa Thomas Merton and Pope Paul VI The asceticism practiced by Opus Dei members is fully compatible with a cheerful contented life and contributes to it St Josemaría said If things go well let s rejoice blessing God who makes them prosper And if they go wrong Let s rejoice blessing God who allows us to share the sweetness of his cross The Way n 658 I want you always to be happy he added for cheerfulness is an essential part of your way The Way n 665 Anyone who visits a center of Opus Dei finds a bright and cheerful Christian home where people are peaceful and brimming over with joy Josemaría Escrivá The Forge n 520 Apostolic Spirit Work social life recreation and the other activities of ordinary daily life besides being worthwhile in themselves offer members of Opus Dei the opportunity and means for bringing others to know and love Christ better The apostolate of members of Opus Dei rests primarily on the friendships that arise naturally in the course of work and on the example of work well done with cheerfulness and a spirit of service In this setting members try to carry out their mission of spreading the message that God calls all men and women to the fullness of holiness Members of Opus Dei find in the awareness of God s fatherly love a source of peace and happiness Naturally they want to share that peace and joy with others And so they seek to bring their friends colleagues family members and neighbors closer to God In addition to trying to give good example they pray for their friends and offer sacrifices for them They also try through their conversation to help their friends get to know Christ better to love him more and to respond to his call to holiness Frequently an encouraging word an assurance that they will pray for the solution of a particular problem or a bit of advice will reflect this deeply Christian friendship Other times it will be a serious heart to heart talk about some aspect of Christ s teaching the demands of Christian life or a friend s possible vocation to Opus Dei On occasion members of Opus Dei join together with other citizens to promote schools medical clinics clubs agricultural training centers and other similar activities that help meet the needs of society and provide an opportunity to spread Christ s teaching to larger groups of people Some members of Opus Dei find their professional work in these settings The majority however have jobs in factories law firms offices and hospitals etc where they try to work as well as they can for love of God and as a service to their fellow men and women CHAPTER 3 VOCATION TO OPUS DEI We have seen that God calls each and every Christian to strive for holiness to try that is to make the love of God and others the dominant force in his or her life This universal call to holiness includes an invitation to spread Christ s message and to help others come closer to him We have also seen that God wants most men and women to respond to this universal vocation to sanctity and apostolate in the setting of their work a day lives He asks them to express their love for him and for others in and through their daily work family life and their other everyday activities A vocation to Opus Dei is a specific vocation within this call to holiness and apostolate in the world It involves serving the Church by helping to teach all lay men and women that God wants them to sanctify themselves in the ordinary circumstances of their lives In calling people to Opus Dei God invites them to dedicate their lives to spreading the doctrine of the vocation to holiness in the world and to strive seriously for holiness themselves He asks them to do this by sanctifying their work sanctifying themselves in their work and converting their work into a means of sanctifying others making use of the guidance provided by Opus Dei in their spiritual lives and apostolate The vocation to Opus Dei represents therefore a particular way of living the vocation to sanctity and apostolate in the world that is common to all lay people A Personal Invitation The men and women whom God calls to Opus Dei perceive their vocation as an explicit personal invitation to serve the Church and to sanctify themselves by living the spirit of Opus Dei and helping to carry out its apostolate This vocation involves the conviction that God wants them to live out the baptismal vocation of a Christian living in the world by following this particular path of service to the Church and to other men and women When a person discovers his or her vocation to Opus Dei he or she becomes aware of God s invitation to love him above all things and to love others for his sake as a pressing personal invitation An example even at the risk of being trite may clarify this Imagine a woman who receives in the mail an invitation to a party to which all the guests are asked to bring a dish A few days later she receives a personal visit from the host pressing her to come to the party and asking her to bring the seafood salad she makes especially well Although the invitation does not differ from the one received in the mail with the visit comes a request to participate in a specific way and a personal awareness that the host really cares whether she attends the party or not Similarly in recognizing a vocation to Opus Dei a person becomes aware that Jesus addresses to him or her personally his invitation to be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect Mt 5 48 The substance of the invitation does not change but its content becomes clearer and more specific and it takes on a new much more personal character Personal Commitment Accepting a vocation to Opus Dei involves a personal commitment In response to Christ s invitation members of Opus Dei freely commit themselves to strive with all their energy to sanctify themselves and to sanctify others by living the spirit of Opus Dei and spreading its message of the universal call to holiness Like Samuel who responded to God s call Here I am because You called me 1 Sam 3 9 members of Opus Dei try to respond generously to God s call This personal commitment to carry out God s will in their personal lives shapes and gives significance to their effort to live in accordance with the spirit of Opus Dei More than merely doing something good which they find attractive commitment means pledging themselves to respond continually to God s invitation That invitation takes on specific content in the guidance that members receive from Opus Dei directors with regard to their spiritual life and their apostolic activities Members of Opus Dei retain complete freedom and autonomy in professional social and political matters but in the spiritual and apostolic dimensions of their lives they freely undertake to receive the formation and spiritual advice of Opus Dei because they are convinced that God is calling them to serve him in this specific way The advice they received is firmly rooted in sacred scripture and in Catholic tradition It is the advice that the Church gives to people pursuing holiness adapted to the particular personal circumstances of each individual by people who know them well and are deeply concerned about their well being The content of this advice is laid out in the previous chapter on the spirit of Opus Dei An Interior Change As a call to individuals to sanctify themselves and others by sanctifying their own work recreation social relations etc a vocation to Opus Dei requires primarily an interior change manifested principally in attitudes Relatively little may change in the exterior life of someone who joins Opus Dei A vocation to Opus Dei does not involve abandoning one s ordinary life for a new and different way of life but rather living one s ordinary life with a new and different outlook A married lawyer with two children who joins Opus Dei will continue to work in the same office to live in the same house to wear the same clothes and play in the same basketball league as before Some things will of course change He will get up a little earlier on weekday mornings in order to go to Mass and he will make a greater effort to use his time well at the office so he can get home on time to play with the kids and help get them ready for bed He will try to find time to attend classes in the evening or on weekends in order to learn more about his faith and about the spirit of Opus Dei and he will take a deeper interest in his friends and his colleagues at work At home he will try to be more attentive and affectionate toward his wife and more involved in raising the children He will come to see his work his family life his prayer and his recreation as elements in God s plan for him and as the means God has arranged for his sanctification and that of others Similarly a young woman studying for an MBA who joins Opus Dei will ordinarily continue to take the same classes hold the same part time job and belong to the same clubs as she did before she joined Opus Dei But she will try to see her classes as an important part of what God asks from her She will take more interest in her classmates and try to help them and she may also begin to help at a soup kitchen or visit people in nursing homes from time to time Just as a fellow student who has become deeply interested in canoeing may try to arrange the summer so that she can take a long canoe trip a student who joins Opus Dei may try to arrange things so that she can attend a summer course where she can learn more about the teachings of the Church and the spirit of Opus Dei The external changes in her life will be relatively small but her new interior attitude will give a new meaning to everything she does Variety of Members God directs the same calling to all members of Opus Dei He asks them all to strive to sanctify work family and the other facets of ordinary life to sanctify themselves in and through those activities and to sanctify others through them The people he invites to do this however differ greatly in age occupation state in life education etc Those circumstances especially marriage and other family obligations explain the existence of supernumerary numerary and associate members of Opus Dei These names reflect different degrees of availability to plan or carry out the means of formation offered by Opus Dei in or from its centers but they do not imply different vocations or different degrees of personal commitment All members of Opus Dei are called to strive with all their strength to live the same spirit and all are equally called by God to holiness Supernumerary members most of them married carry out an extensive work of evangelization among their friends family neighbors and co workers through their word and their example Like all other members they attempt to spread Opus Dei s message that ordinary life should lead to holiness They do this in the most diverse settings but with a minimum of formal organization Because of their family and professional commitments supernumerary members ordinarily have little time available for directing Opus Dei activities or giving formation in the spirit of Opus Dei to others in a formal organized fashion But they strive by word and example to bring their colleagues friends and family members closer to Christ and they try to contribute generously to support financially the activities of Opus Dei as well as their parish Numerary members of Opus Dei remain celibate to give themselves body and soul to God for the sake of the apostolate In this way they are fully available to carry out tasks of formation and direction within Opus Dei Most hold professional jobs outside the centers of Opus Dei If their services are needed to work in a professional capacity as full time directors of Opus Dei all are willing to give up the practice of their professions as engineers business people lawyers etc In order to be more available and to facilitate their formation ordinarily the numerary members live together as a family in centers of Opus Dei although individuals may live elsewhere if their professional work requires this The numerary members contribute to the various apostolates of Opus Dei all their salaries and other earnings not needed for their personal support Gifts or inheritances they receive do not however automatically go to Opus Dei Income of this sort usually brings moral and other commitments that must be responsibly met To take care of those obligations numerary members have complete freedom to retain title to such goods In order to practice Christian detachment from material goods they arrange for third party administration of such assets Some women numeraries called numerary assistants choose to dedicate themselves professionally to housekeeping services in the centers of Opus Dei Their work helps create a warm and inviting family atmosphere St Josemaría often stressed the importance of the work of the numerary assistants because it contributes immensely to the fruitfulness of the apostolic activities carried out in Opus Dei centers Associate members also live apostolic celibacy but family responsibilities or other personal circumstances often make them less available than the numeraries for the apostolic activities of Opus Dei Ordinarily associate members live with their own families They handle their income with a spirit of Christian detachment and responsibility in a manner similar to that of the numerary members A small number of numerary and associate men who freely wish to do so are invited by the Prelate to be ordained as priests of the Prelature of Opus Dei The priests care for the spiritual needs of the lay members of Opus Dei and assist their apostolic activities by preaching giving spiritual guidance and administering the sacraments The approximately 1 850 priests of the Prelature of Opus Dei make up less than two percent of the total number of members A Contract The personal commitment of members is expressed in a verbal contract between them and Opus Dei In this contract the members commit themselves to strive to live the demands of Christian life and carry out apostolate by living in accordance with the spirit of Opus Dei putting into practice the advice they receive from the directors of Opus Dei Opus Dei for its part commits itself to provide its members the spiritual support and guidance they need to respond faithfully to God s call Like any personal commitment of great importance a vocation to Opus Dei is not to be undertaken lightly As the founder of Opus Dei said The decisions that determine the course of an entire life should be taken calmly without rushing into it Such decisions should be particularly responsible and prudent And part of prudence consists precisely in seeking advice of other people and especially of one s parents Conversations with Msgr Escrivá n 104 The statutes of Opus Dei contain explicit provisions to insure that those who become members will decide maturely with ample knowledge and reflection To make a contractual commitment to Opus Dei a person must be at least eighteen years old and must have received for a year and a half a detailed education in the mission and spirituality of Opus Dei while trying to live and carry out apostolate in accord with the spirit of Opus Dei Only after this period of initial formation in which the person gets to know Opus Dei from the inside and the directors of Opus Dei get to know him or her is any one permitted to make an initial contractual commitment A person s first contractual commitment to Opus Dei lasts for a period of one year or less For at least five years members of Opus Dei make renewable contractual commitments of no more than a year s duration During this period the contract must be freely renewed each year otherwise it lapses Before anyone can make a life long commitment to God in Opus Dei at least six and a half years must elapse from the time when he or she first formally asked for admission No one therefore can make a permanent commitment to God in Opus Dei before he or she is twenty three years of age CHAPTER 4 OPUS DEI WITHIN THE CHURCH As a part of the Catholic Church Opus Dei seeks only in the words of its founder to serve the Church as the Church wants to be served Opus Dei encourages its members not only to serve but above all to love the Church and concretely to love the Pope the bishops priests and religious St Josemaría Escrivá taught that if you don t have the highest reverence for the priesthood and religious state you certainly don t love God s Church The Way n 526 A Personal Prelature Technically Opus Dei is what is known as a personal prelature The Second Vatican Council introduced the concept

    Original URL path: http://www.opusdei.org/en-us/article/the-vocation-to-opus-dei/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Where does Opus Dei have centers in the United States? - Opus Dei
    in the U S Organization History People in Opus Dei Priestly Society of the Holy Cross Cooperators Canonization causes Books and texts Videos about Opus Dei Safe Environment The Prelate Biography Pastoral letters Other documents News From the Pope Recent News From the Prelate Personal testimonies Social initiatives Saint Josemaría Biography Prayers and devotions Teachings of Saint Josemaría About Saint Josemaría Videos Christian life Getting to know our Lord Jesus Christ Summaries of Catholic Teaching Articles on Christian life Getting to know our Lady Other Resources Search About Opus Dei Message Activities Opus Dei in the U S Organization History People in Opus Dei Priestly Society of the Holy Cross Cooperators Canonization causes Books and texts Videos about Opus Dei Safe Environment The Prelate Biography Pastoral letters Other documents News From the Pope Recent News From the Prelate Personal testimonies Social initiatives Saint Josemaría Biography Prayers and devotions Teachings of Saint Josemaría About Saint Josemaría Videos Christian life Getting to know our Lord Jesus Christ Summaries of Catholic Teaching Articles on Christian life Getting to know our Lady Other Resources Search Close About Opus Dei Opus Dei in the U S Where does Opus Dei have centers in the United States Opus Dei in the U S Jan 31 2006 print email facebook twitter ePub kindle Opus Dei has more than 60 centers in or near 19 cities in the U S Boston Chicago Dallas Delray Beach FL Houston Los Angeles Miami Milwaukee New York Pittsburgh Princeton NJ Providence St Louis San Antonio San Francisco South Bend IN South Orange NJ Urbana IL and Washington DC Additionally Opus Dei conducts activities in many other cities To learn more about Opus Dei s activities in your area please send an e mail to info opusdei org indicating where you are writing

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  • How does one join Opus Dei? - Opus Dei
    The Prelate Biography Pastoral letters Other documents News From the Pope Recent News From the Prelate Personal testimonies Social initiatives Saint Josemaría Biography Prayers and devotions Teachings of Saint Josemaría About Saint Josemaría Videos Christian life Getting to know our Lord Jesus Christ Summaries of Catholic Teaching Articles on Christian life Getting to know our Lady Other Resources Search About Opus Dei Message Activities Opus Dei in the U S Organization History People in Opus Dei Priestly Society of the Holy Cross Cooperators Canonization causes Books and texts Videos about Opus Dei Safe Environment The Prelate Biography Pastoral letters Other documents News From the Pope Recent News From the Prelate Personal testimonies Social initiatives Saint Josemaría Biography Prayers and devotions Teachings of Saint Josemaría About Saint Josemaría Videos Christian life Getting to know our Lord Jesus Christ Summaries of Catholic Teaching Articles on Christian life Getting to know our Lady Other Resources Search Close About Opus Dei Frequently asked questions How does one join Opus Dei Frequently asked questions Jan 31 2005 print email facebook twitter ePub kindle Membership in Opus Dei requires a supernatural vocation It is a personal call from God to place one s whole life at his service spreading the message of the universal call to holiness in ordinary work and social life Members join by a contractual commitment rather than by vows and remain ordinary faithful of their dioceses This vocation is usually discerned after being involved in Opus Dei s activities retreats classes spiritual direction regularly over a period of time which enables one to acquire an in depth knowledge of Opus Dei It is also important to acquire consistency in the Christian practices to which members commit themselves frequent reception of the sacraments prayer apostolate and in general a humble and constant effort

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  • Opus Dei - Contact
    the priesthood Search What it is Priests and the message of Opus Dei History Key elements of the spirit of Opus Dei St Josemaría and Opus Dei Serving the Church Members and cooperators Requirements and incorporation In the U S News Testimonials Saint Josemaría Biography Videos Resources On the Catholic faith On the priesthood Search Close Contact If you have any specific questions or would like to get in touch with us please fill out the form below and we ll be in touch with you shortly YOUR DATA This helps us prevent automatic programs form sending unwanted e mails links The Holy See Writings of the founder of Opus Dei Saint Josemaría website Blessed Alvaro del Portillo website Romana Bulletin of the Opus Dei Prelature St Josemaria Institute US Conference of Catholic Bishops frequent questions What is Opus Dei What does Opus Dei offer What activities does Opus Dei organise Who belongs to Opus Dei Can priests join Opus Dei Can non Catholic Christians and non Christians belong to Opus Dei What are the commitments of members Why do people join Opus Dei More questions most visited 1 Letter from the Prelate February 2016 2 Five Remedies Against Sadness

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  • The Priestly Society of the Holy Cross - Opus Dei
    History Key elements of the spirit of Opus Dei St Josemaría and Opus Dei Serving the Church Members and cooperators Requirements and incorporation In the U S News Testimonials Saint Josemaría Biography Videos Resources On the Catholic faith On the priesthood Search Close What it is The Priestly Society of the Holy Cross What it is March 10 2014 print email facebook twitter ePub kindle The Priestly Society of the Holy Cross is an association of clergy intrinsically united to the Prelature of Opus Dei Its aim is to promote holiness among secular priests through the exercise of their ministry in the service of the Church according to the spirit and ascetical practice of Opus Dei It is made up of priests incardinated in the Prelature and of other priests incardinated in their respective particular Churches At present there are about 4 000 members Its president is the Prelate of Opus Dei The diocesan clergy who belong to the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross continue to be incardinated in their own particular Church They depend only on their bishop nihil sine Episcopo was an expression of St Ignatius of Antioch often cited by St Josemaría and are in no way under the jurisdiction of the Prelate of Opus Dei The Second Vatican Council encouraged associations that foster fraternal assistance to priests cf Decree Presbyterorum Ordinis no 9 As the Code of Canon Law c 278 2 states secular clergy should hold in high esteem especially those associations which foster their holiness in the exercise of the ministry and promote the unity of clerics among themselves and with their own bishop The spiritual help given by the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross seeks to improve the interior life of its members encourage their fidelity in carrying out their priestly

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  • Priests and the message of Opus Dei - Opus Dei
    and cooperators Requirements and incorporation In the U S News Testimonials Saint Josemaría Biography Videos Resources On the Catholic faith On the priesthood Search What it is Priests and the message of Opus Dei History Key elements of the spirit of Opus Dei St Josemaría and Opus Dei Serving the Church Members and cooperators Requirements and incorporation In the U S News Testimonials Saint Josemaría Biography Videos Resources On the Catholic faith On the priesthood Search Close What it is Priests and the message of Opus Dei Priests and the message of Opus Dei The aim of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross is to promote the sanctity of the secular clergy according to the spirit and ascetical practice of Opus Dei Priests and the message of Opus Dei March 10 2014 print email facebook twitter ePub kindle The aim of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross is to promote the sanctity of the secular clergy according to the spirit and ascetical practice of Opus Dei cf St John Paul II Apostolic Constitution Ut Sit November 28 1982 preface and art I Priests incardinated in various dioceses join the Priestly Society through a divine vocation like the other faithful of Opus Dei so as to find a help and a stimulus in seeking sanctity in their priestly ministry which embraces all the dimensions of their existence Opus Dei s message on the sanctification of professional work is also meant for secular priests since the professional work of priests their way of sanctifying themselves and others is the ministerial priesthood of the Bread and the Word A de Fuenmayor V Gómez Iglesias J L Illanes The Canonical Path of Opus Dei Scepter 1994 p 274 This message implies realizing in depth the requirements for holiness and apostolate stemming from

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  • History of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross - Opus Dei
    of the spirit of Opus Dei St Josemaría and Opus Dei Serving the Church Members and cooperators Requirements and incorporation In the U S News Testimonials Saint Josemaría Biography Videos Resources On the Catholic faith On the priesthood Search Close What it is History History of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross The Priestly Society of the Holy Cross stems from St Josemaría s love for diocesan priests and from the foundational event that took place on October 2 1928 when our Lord made him see Opus Dei The specific origin of the Priestly Society however occurred some years later in 1943 History March 10 2014 print email facebook twitter ePub kindle The Priestly Society of the Holy Cross stems from St Josemaría s love for diocesan priests and from the foundational event that took place on October 2 1928 when our Lord made him see Opus Dei The specific origin of the Priestly Society however occurred some years later in 1943 The founder soon realized that the newness of the spirit of Opus Dei implied the need for priests who would come from its own laymen who would dedicate themselves in a special way to the pastoral needs of the people of the Work and their apostolates without excluding other souls cf A Vázquez de Prada The Founder of Opus Dei II Scepter 2003 p 454 On February 14 1943 while celebrating Holy Mass St Josemaría received a particular light from God that enabled him to find the way to ordain these faithful of Opus Dei to the priesthood A body of priests coming from its lay members and formed with its spirit was to be erected within the pastoral reality of the Work integrated in the institution and with a fully secular condition for the pastoral care of its members and their apostolates Thus was born the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross which the bishop of Madrid erected on December 8 1943 after having received the nihil obstat from the Holy See on October 11 1943 St Josemaría had deep in his heart the desire to help more effectively his brothers in the diocesan priesthood He continued devoting a large part of his time to them especially after 1939 preaching many retreats to priests throughout the Iberian peninsula at the request of bishops of various dioceses Mindful of the needs of his fellow priests St Josemaría even considered in 1948 49 the possibility of leaving Opus Dei once it was granted final pontifical approval in order to establish an association for secular priests cf Vázquez de Prada The Founder of Opus Dei III Scepter 2005 pp 125 129 In April 1950 God enabled the founder to see that it was possible to include in the Work diocesan priests incardinated in various dioceses Therefore he petitioned the Holy See to approve their inclusion in the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross This was granted on June 16 of that year When St John Paul II erected Opus

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